Japan-S. Korea passenger ship services to be resumed

Reuters file photo
The Japanese flag (L) and South Korean flag (R)

Seoul (Jiji Press)—Passenger ship services between South Korea and Japan will be resumed from Nov. 4, after about two and a half years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said Wednesday.

A route between Busan in southeastern South Korea and the southwestern Japan city of Fukuoka will be reopened first, followed by those linking Busan and Donghae in northeastern South Korea with Osaka, Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture, all western Japan.

The resumption of the passenger ship services is expected to contribute to a recovery in tourism demand between the two countries.

South Korea has started accepting short-term visitors without visas, requiring no coronavirus tests before and after arrival.

Expecting a rise in the number of tourists from Japan, South Korean Oceans and Fisheries Minister Cho Seung-Hwan voiced hope that ship operators and regional economies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic will be reinvigorated.

Japan also started accepting short-term visitors from South Korea without visas this month, exempting those who have received three COVID-19 vaccine doses from coronavirus tests.